Amazing Finger Painting with an iPad/iPhone

Artist Seikou Yamaoka must have alien fingers to paint such beautiful, delicate portraits on an iPad or iPhone. His complex paintings look like they were done with oil or acrylic using delicate brushes and strokes. It’s mind boggling to think he did these amazing pieces with just his finger and and iPad. I can barely type a legible message.

iPad ArtMore of Seikou Yamaoka’s work can be found here.

Rare Color Photographs from a Century Ago

I have always been fascinated with old photographs. They seem otherworldly and mysterious to me. I like to imagine what it would be like if I could step into that moment. I picture what color the girl’s dress is and what the man smoking the pipe sounds like when he laughs. It’s like time-travel; a privileged glimpse into the lives of people and times long gone. This is why I love these rare color photographs from the early 1900’s Russia and France. They are not retouched, but are actual color photographs at a time when color photography was not common. The bright colors and quality of the images make it difficult to believe that you are looking back more than 100 years in time.

The Russian photographs were taken by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii who completed a photographic survey of the Russian Empire with the support of Tsar Nicholas II. He used a specialized camera to capture three black and white images in quick succession, using red, green and blue filters. These were later combined and projected with filtered lanterns to show near true color images.

An Armenian woman in national costume poses for Prokudin-Gorskii on a hillside near Artvin (in present day Turkey), 1910

Self-portrait of Prokudin-Gorskii on the Karolitskhali River, 1910.

Emir Seyyid Mir Mohammed Alim Khan, the Emir of Bukhara, seated holding a sword in Bukhara, (present-day Uzbekistan), 1910

A boy leans on a wooden gatepost in the Ural Mountains, 1910.

A man and woman pose in Dagestan, ca. 1910.

More of Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii’s beautiful photographs can be viewed here.

The French photos were taken using Autochrome Lumière technology. A technique patented in 1903 by French filmmakers Auguste and Louis Lumière. It utilized a number of emulsion layers (including one consisting of dyed potato starch) to lock in natural color on a permanent glass negative.

Paris Soldiers, 1900s

Market Square, Paris 1900s

Soldier and Cannon, Paris 1900s

French Soldier, 1915

More photos can be found here and here.

Stunning Photography by Elena Shumilova

Russian artist Elena Shumilova’s experience in sketching and painting lend her an eye for photographic composition. Her passion for photography began in 2012 when she started taking pictures of her children. Her images are personal and heartwarming, with visual and emotional depth. She captures enchanting images by taking advantage of her natural surroundings including lighting, colors and weather conditions.

The Bees of Sarah Hatton

“Circle 2” Sarah Hatton. Honey bees (Apis mellifera), resin on panel, 2013. Photo by Pierre Laporte

The work of Ottawa-based artist Sarah Hatton is a strong political piece, specifically raising awareness of the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) happening to honey populations worldwide. Early this year in Chelsea, Quebec, two entire hives of bees died from frostbite. Sarah used thousands of the dead bees to create geometric patterns to display the enormity of the issue of CCD. Patterns are an important part of a bee’s life. The geometric honeycomb is the heart of a colony and bees use intricate patterns of dance-like movements to pollinate.

In Sarah’s art, the composition Florid (2013) uses the Fibonacci spiral that is seen in the pattern of a sunflower seed. Circle 1 (2013) and Circle 2 (2013) represent patterns typically found in crop circles. According to Sarah “Both of these patterns have symbolic ties to agriculture, particularly the monoculture crop system that is having such a detrimental effect on bees” with the use of pesticides. The artist’s work is aims to call awareness of not only the importance of these creatures in our lives, but also of how devastating the destruction of two hives can be to the bee population.

Honey bees (Apis mellifera), resin on panel, 2013. Photo by Pierre Laporte

Circle 1